The art of communication is vital to thriving in the modern world. It is impossible to completely put an end to arguments, but a constructive disagreement can be useful in any relationship in order to grow and learn about various issues. Communication can make or break a relationship, and is thus a skill well worth learning. By following the following steps you can improve your communication skills and thus your relationships with not only family, but also work and with all people you interact in daily life.
It’s very easy to get swept up in the moment of a discussion and force your opinion on the other person. Take a minute to stop what you are saying, and really listen to their side of the argument. When you listen you are more likely to be heard. To make sure that you are really listening, every now and then repeat the other person’s argument back to them so that they know that they are being heard. After all, it is the fact that people are all different that makes life interesting.
- Be mindful
When communicating a point it is important that you know exactly what is troubling you or what the focus of your point is, rather than raising a plethora of issues that have nothing to do with what you actually want to communicate. Mindfulness starts with you knowing yourself through spending time alone and being fully present in each moment. When you know yourself well you will be able to better communicate with others, and effectively portray the point you wish to communicate.
- Use positive language
It is vital that for constructive communication you use positive language over negative language. In this way, say what you do want rather than what you don’t want. It is also helpful to be specific with the points that you raise. In the same light, avoid making judgements or blaming.
- Identify what’s annoying you
If you find that you are arguing continuously with the same person, take a moment to think about what the real issue at play is. Once you know what is upsetting you, you can calmly discuss this with the person. Let the other person have their input in this discussion so that you can move forward on the same page.
- Try to spend more time with the person with whom you argue the most
This may seem counterintuitive at first, and initially you may land up arguing more, but eventually the more time you spend with this person you will discover similarities and may grow closer. Persevere, as once your bond is stronger, you will be able to better communicate with each other.
If you can see that you are in the wrong or you can better understand the other person’s side of the story, apologize. Take a moment to calm down before you do, so that you don’t flare up another argument. Apologising will mean that you will be able to clear the air so that the other person will feel comfortable with communicating openly with you in the future.